Sicily and the Aeolian Islands
The history of Sicily is rich and varied It consists mostly of successive waves of invaders (the Greeks that founded Syracuse in 734 BC, the Phoenicians, the Carthaginians, the Romans, the Arabs, the Normans and the Spaniards) occupying the island and leaving cultural influences which have blended in often fascinating ways, such as the unique Arabic-Norman architecture of the Middle Ages.
Sicily is well known for its unique natural beauty, Etna’s volcano and its very imposing coasts, islands and islets. Sant’Agata di Militello is a pleasant town placed in the province of Messina, between the hills and the sea, in the middle way between Palermo and Messina, exactly in front of the Aeolian Islands. Easily reachable from both the international airports of Palermo (160 Km) and Catania (200 km), to whom it is directly linked through a very new superhighway and a continuous railway system, it is the ideal point to leave for a sailing trip to the Aeolian Islands but it offers you also many others different and interesting itineraries for your weekly charters.
Alicudi, Filicudi, Lipari, Panarea, Salina, Stromboli, Vulcano will be in front of you, at only 25 nautical miles: in about three hours of sailing you will have on your disposal a whole archipelago of seven islands to be circumnavigated.
As soon as you will have hoisted your main sail up and opened your genoa, you will be able to sight the red and black rocks with the green Indian figs of Alicudi, the bushes of brooms and the so called “Cave of the Marine-Ox of Filicudi, the typical fumes of sulphur of Vulcano, the wild promontories of Salina and the white beaches of Lipari; sailing a little bit more, then, you will see the so called “Faraglioni” and the typical low-houses of Panarea and the infernal spectacle of the slopes of Stromboli standing out in front of you.
On the contrary, if you will decide to sail along the coast, going on the east side, you can penetrate into the numerous bays of incomparable beauty that you find between Capo d’Orlando and Messina, having a look from the sea to the stately Sanctuary of the Madonna of Tindari, and you can moor in the near harbours of Capo d’Orlando, Porto Rosa, Milazzo or Messina, or you can continue further than the strait of Messina to visit the wonderful Taormina or to organize an unforgettable trip on the Etna, the highest volcano in Europe, but you can also decide to direct your boat straight to the Tyrrhenian coasts of South-Calabria. Going on the west side, in no more than three hours you can reach the picturesque harbour of Cefalù, or you can continue in the direction of Palermo, the capital of Sicily.
Our second base in Sicily is located in Marsala, a picturesque town, founded by the Carthaginians but took the name from the Arabs (Marsal-Allah, harbour of God), well known from the popular wine.
Marsala it’s a pleasent relaxed place from where you can sail North West for visiting in a range of 25 miles the Egadi Islands that are three principal islands, Favignana, Marettimo and Levanzo, or sailling South for visiting Pantelleria, an island of volcanic origin, and the barren rocky island of Lampedusa that has recently become popular for the good underwater fishing around the coast.
Marsala is also ideal as a starting point to Malta (120 miles) and of course to Tunisia.